Do you contradict yourself and how do you justify it?
Ex.) you say you love animals but you also eat them.
Ex.) You don’t believe in God but you pray when you feel lost.
Ex,) Your motto is to stay true to yourself but you believe in changing who you are for the better.
(If you think of better ones you can post them, I can’t think of that many right now)
Is contradiction good, even necessary sometimes? Do you feel comfortable holding two opposing viewpoints at once and how do you justify these viewpoints to yourself and others?
@emmaclaire, thank you(: i appreciate the good thoughts.
mmmm…. I see. I guess I used to be the same way, but very extreme. I never stood up for myself. it’s like a always foresaw all mistake and tried to do everything in my power to prevent them from happening. that’s why I always thought so carefully about my words and which ones i use and where. syntax, diction, inflection. alla that. now, i just say what i think and worry about the problem when it arises, usually. but of course, I still am aware of my surrounding. I just don’t let them consume me anymore.
I put myself in too many situations with people who could have cared less about me. and that lasted for a very very long time. i finally gained some self-respect and started standing up for myself. i dropped people if i felt like they were a detriment to my well-being. and it’s not rude, i don’t think. I think… I HOPE that people will understand. because i tell them what i think. it’s not that i do or dont like them, it’s that i don’t think we fit well together. I hope in time they can see that it would have been a waste of time and energy on both of our parts. i only drop people who are closed-minded, so I have nothing to learn from them because that’s a reality I have already fully experienced. Of course I love all beings, and i still hope they experience ego death, but if they won’t let me help them, I can’t, and there is nothing else I can do but wait. If I can’t be the person to fill their eyes with wonder, then I can’t and hopefully someone else will.
I think a lot of the time, I lose myself when I stop paying attention to myself. Do you meditate? It’s awesome because it won’t let your mind wander, if you do the focusing on your breathing technique. you think a thought, acknowledge it’s there, and concentrate on breathing again. what an awesome way to not be consumed by your thoughts.
but It’s okay to be judgmental every so often. it’s not your fault. it’s instinctual and it’s a part of living in the time and place we live in. I think I’m contradicting myself a lot by doing the same. I WANT to be this peaceful and loving person 24/7, but that’s not the entirety of who i am right now, and that’s okay. maybe one day i will be, maybe one day I won’t, but I feel very sure that if there is a time where I really need to calm down and be at peace with myself, I can. Just control of self, I guess. I feel really secure in the powers I hold with regards to myself.
Yeah. That’s when you get better and learn…
I am contradictions. I cannot contradict myself, because myself is contradictions.
“We can only learn and advance with contradictions.
The faithful inside should meet the doubtful.
The doubtful should meet the faithful.
Human slowly advances and becomes mature
when he accepts his contradictions.” – Shams-i-Tabrīzī
@TearEmUpTara, Yeah girl thanks for sharing! That does make sense.
@ARCANUS, good insight.
@biancavila, That’s really strong of you to make a change like that. :) I do meditate, not as often as I should, but every time I do I struggle with it. I have pretty bad insomnia. I’ve been kind of paying attention to myself a lot more lately and I think it is probably brought on by constant stress from trying to be perfect all the time. I think this is partially due to my parents pushing me as a kid to be perfect and change the things about me that they thought were wrong. I have also realized that my thoughts are just out of control all the time, another reason why I can’t sleep. I can’t believe I never noticed this before. It’s why I’ve never been able to study things I’m not into, even when they will get me where I want to go. I’d like to go into sustainable international development/humanitarian aid as a possible career but I couldn’t make myself choke through the business classes. I couldn’t focus my mind at all because I wasn’t into it. I excel at things that I like though. Does meditation help with focus?
Oh the original reason why I mentioned insomnia (I’m really bad with tangents, wow) is because when I try to meditate I can’t control my thoughts which is a similar problem I have while trying to sleep. I also can’t differentiate between meditating and being asleep, like I can’t find my awareness or something. And also when my body gets calm enough it just wants to go the fuck to sleep because I’m so sleep deprived all the time, haha.
@biancavila, you may not believe in a single “god” or god like figure but you believe in a higher power and is essentially where the “prayer” or thoughts you had intended were directed to this higher power. I feel religion has twisted our view of “god” as an eternal being, rather then an existence beyond our comprehension, in which we look for answers because our lack of knowledge hinders are ability to understand the unknown.
Sorry for being lazy and not reading all the replies, i believe (as an avid philosopher) that contradiction is necessary to define what we truly believe. If we do not contradict ourselves and attempt to disprove a fact we believe to be true, then we will never discover the truth behind the fact (if that makes sense). To find the truth we must first disprove the falsity and therefore must contradict what we know to strengthen the validity of truth in what we know (or weaken).
@fr3sh, Religion doesn’t twist anything. Unless you think it is an entity itself with a mind of its own? People use religion as a tool, people do the “twisting”. God is however you define it. Which makes it hard to talk about and hard to understand what other people’s beliefs are about it.
I do agree with you though, the general framework by which people define God can be limiting, especially for those who don’t find that their beliefs fit into that framework.
@emmaclaire, Aha yes my views on religion are quite radical and it has been up and down throughout my life (to say the least I’m still trying to figure it out).
“you think it is a means to an end but cannot be an end in itself?” — Precisely. Though, it could definitely be an end in itself, i think that it ultimately comes down to the person and the situation. I know myself i am very open to different views and for that reason am constantly contradicting what i know to further my knowledge on a particular subject. Either the contradictions may be a reason to disprove the initial thought and may be right in itself, or the contradiction partakes in furthering the initial thought, by disproving parts which are contradictory the thought becomes more concrete.
@fr3sh, That’s really insightful!
As for religion, it’s my major in school. I just finished a theories of religion class. We basically looked at all the different definitions of religion great philosophers have come up with… by the end I just had to laugh because there is no one definition of religion, at least not one that encompasses everything. The greatest minds of our past all contradicted each other. It is so hard to argue about something that doesn’t even have a concrete definition. Same thing with God. At the end I concluded that religion must be all the definitions combined, and also none of them… a huge contradiction but (to me) the one that works the best.
Yeah fair enough, agreed there is no concrete definition for religion as each perceives religion and god in their own manor. And for that reason no one person is wrong in saying what they believe religion or god to be. Though, i feel some try to enforce their views upon others and are not accepting that others may think (and perceive) things differently then them. That is where i feel religion becomes a bit excessive.
@fr3sh, Yeah. The forcing part is what most people mean when they say they don’t like religion. I guess I just think it is important to point out that the topic is so complex we can’t even define it, so it definitely can’t be funneled down into close-mindedness.
Wow this is really off topic.
@emmaclaire, you remind my so much of myself. I’m glad we have found each other. It’s like you’re perfectly describing who I was haha.
And thank you, but I don’t feel like I really did anything. Life just took me where I needed to go. I kind of just had an awakening and it opened my eyes up to the beauty in life. (Sorry if I repeat things I have already said. I don’t remember what I have already mentioned.) I stayed awake for 40 hours because I had to cram to catch up on my school work, since I hadn’t gone to school in so long due to my health conditions, and all I did was do smoke a little weed, learn some, felt tired, smoked a little more weed, went outside and meditated, came back and learned some more, felt tired, etc. I felt so connected to the universe. Like it felt so right, and I haven’t been able to get back there since. That was maybe….. 2 months ago. But even still, I have kept the awareness and control over self.
My parents were the same way with me. But I’ve started to develop a good relationship with my parents now, which I had NEVER had before. But now, I realize that it’s less of them trying to be perfect and more of them trying to learn how to parent. I’m the only girl, and my only sibling is a brother that’s a year and a half older than me. My brother and I are EXTREMELY different, so it was like their first experience of parenting someone like me was, in fact, me. They just don’t know what to do. When you were born, I’m assuming that they already created in their heads the imaginary world that you were going to grow up in, the imaginary world that THEY wanted you to grow up in. And them wanting you to be “perfect” isn’t about you; it’s about them not being able to accept reality. No matter what, you are you, and instead of trying to change you to fit their mold, in my honest opinion, I think they need to accept that it is what it is. You’re smart, level-headed, kind. I don’t think there’s much they can do. I think all that’s left for you to do is experience. I think what you really need is time to your self. And not like a spa day or something, but like….. get rid of all the stressors and pay attention to yourself. cause that’s what helped me. and of course, i don’t have the one solution because there is no one solution, but since our past is so alike, I’d figure that it would benefit you immensely as well.
I can’t truly answer that meditation question since i haven’t been able to go back to that calm place again, but it helps me clear my mind. which really does my focus. so much less clutter. How do you meditate? because I am always very sure of when i am asleep and meditating and this is actually the second time I’ve heard someone say this.
But i was the same way with my sleep. It was my escape from the stress that was my life. And even now, i always feel tense and I always feel the pressure on my heart. It’s like my heartbeat isn’t calm, and I’m pretty sure it’s because of all the stress that I put myself through and didn’t take care of.
Stress can literally kill you if you don’t take it by the reins.
@fr3sh, mmm, I totally agree. I don’t believe in a god, but I am still very spiritual. I’ll analyze it more next time i pray though. I don’t know if it’s that i was hoping a force outside myself would induce their ego death, but rather I found comfort in being able to see in my head that it has a possibility of becoming a reality.
@biancavila, Thank you! I also think we are very similar. What you said helped. I know I can’t make my parents accept me. I really hope they do it on their own. My big sister has rebelled and has really, really disappointed them. She didn’t know what she wanted to be in college so she took a break, became a waitress, got some tattoos, started smoking. In my mom’s eyes she couldn’t be more of a failure. I’m like mom, please. She could be a crack whore, it could be so much worse. She is a perfectly normal kid in her 20s. I have always felt the weight of my parents’ judgment and I think it has contributed to my high stress levels. My resting heart rate is 90 and I always wondered why and I’m almost convinced it is just because of stress. I am trying to get all the stressors out of my life. I’m glad that it helped you and I hope it helps me too. I went to my first hot yoga class in 2 months recently. I used to do it while I was at school and it was my personal escape and I have found it pretty easy to focus and go into a meditative state while doing it. It really helped me get centered. I need to start doing things that are calm, allow me to think, and also to escape my thoughts. Now I’m just rambling. Anyway. thanks a lot!
Oh, and to answer your question about meditation: I have a hard time sitting up. My spine gets really out of line easily so I usually lay down with my legs crossed into indian style and grab both elbows and put my arms above my head. I know this sounds like a really weird position but it is actually really comfortable for me. I just relax, let thoughts come at the beginning but try to send them away when I realize they are coming. I usually spend the whole time trying to get to that stage where I can cease thought since I am so bad at focus, but I am getting better at it.
reading all this, ok skimming all this :D made me realise im not the only pinball machine out there with the ball going from one end to the other, from one extreme to the next. the big picture is happening to all of us right now and the contradictions are just questions on the one side and answers on the other. im tryin to make sense of it all even tho its scary sometimes, like hell yeah thats awesome then no it isnt get a grip , ping pong ping pong.
and then the thoughts about being twofaced, if you want to use an ugly synonym for the contradiction parts. do you guys ever think in that direction.???
I think that living in paradox keeps life exciting and broadens perspective. Paradox drives the creative force within you to create a magical world for yourself that maybe you would’ve never thought of unless you were conflicted about the subject… I feel that when we’re living in absolutes, we’re limiting our potentials in a way.
@emmaclaire, again, also very similar haha. my brother just turned 20. dropped out of college after his first semester, moved out, got a minimum wage job, irresponsible, smokes. he always got bad grades, so my parents were always thankful that they had me to be their A student.
And now that I don’t really have a role model or am drowned in stress, I’m able to see a lot of things from a 3rd-party point of view with respect to the relationships between my family, even in regards to my own role.
Now, I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to notice my breathing and make sure that I’m filling up my lungs and breathing slowly.
Awesome. I’m so happy you found something that you find solace in doing. I think it’s really important for everyone to have at least one go-to thing in times of high stress. I really want to start taking yoga classes, because i also realized that my body is naturally ALWAYS tense. Literally. I have to really really make a conscious effort to relax ALL my muscles.
Whatever works for you(: Meditation is your time. I think it’s…. well…. i don’t know if it was just your wording, but i always try to make sure i acknowledge my wandering thoughts, rather than trying to push them away so I can focus. that way, I know I’m thinking them, and it’ll be easier to recognize when the thought happens again. I feel like when I do this, my thoughts stop wandering by themselves and then I’m able to focus on my senses. i usually sit outside, so i’ll try and feel the direction of the wind with my skin and once i am one with the wind, i start listening to the birds and the trees and that’s when i reach my height(:
@emmaclaire, yes, I do contradict myself on occasion, but I often look for ways both can be true.
There are very few absolutes in life, most things are a balancing act we seek all our lives to get right.
The main contradiction I make is I often say “Do what you believe is the right thing” then I will say “Enjoy life”.
That is a contradiction because doing the right thing is not always the best way to enjoy life, but as I say, that is what life is; trying to strike a balance between principles that you can be as satisfied as you can with.
@emmaclaire, With a couple of your examples, I believe in God but I never pray, not in the classical sense anyway.
With loving animals, eating them does not have to related to not loving them, infact you are displaying an intimate constructive relationship with them. I also love plants.
People have an absolute view that eating animals is immoral but morality is subjective, (now I’m going to cop an earful from vegans explaining why I’m wrong)
And finally, staying true to yourself can be about being the best you can be. Learning how to do things better does not mean you change your fundamental nature, but most often is an expression of that nature.
Anyway, Vegans can win the argument purely on empirical data on health effects and environmental inefficiency, at least on the Mammal level, and never need raise a question of morality.
With morality being subjective, and choice being a valid right, there is no ground to be made on a moral argument. Technically, if people are willing to risk their own health, they have that right, so the only real avenue for making headway in societal culture or law is environmental inefficiency.
We can only learn and advance with contradictions.
The faithful inside should meet the doubtful.
The doubtful should meet the faithful.
Human slowly advances and becomes mature
when he accepts his contradictions.
A quote I pulled from this site:)
@emmaclaire, Everyone contradicts themselves, in more ways than one. In the cases you’ve given saying you would only want to be a rockstar when you grow up you were five then becoming interested in being a writer is in one way contradicting because you have changed your opinion. I believe that what contradiction truly is, the change in opinion, and with out that change we would never learn, human growth would stop and we would never evolve.
Saying that you’ll be true to yourself but then changing who you are wouldn’t be contradicting, if the change is still something you like then you are becoming more yourself than you were before by keeping that change out of your life
Are you a vegetarian but feed your pets with meat , or you have meat eater friends, even if you think that killing animals is wrong
If you were so strict in what you believe it will be difficult to interact socially. This subject is very interesting for me